Take note, Nicholas Sparks! Adrian and Brooke Franklin, a newlywed couple from South Gastonia, N.C., got married last month in the same church where they first walked down the aisle together as a ring bearer and flower girl 17 years ago, when they were both 5 years old.
“I had a crush on him from the start,” Brooke, now 22, told the town’s local affiliate ABC11. “He absolutely could not stand me. He said I got on his nerves. I’d tried to play with him at school and at church and he just didn’t want much to do with me at all.”
Her new husband, 21, confirmed his initial distaste to another local affiliate, WCHS. “I was like, ‘No, tell me I don’t have to walk down the aisle with her?’” he said. “She had a crush on me, but she got on my nerves I can remember that.”
Eventually, the two went through elementary school, then middle school, and finally, clicked in high school. “Every time our paths would go separate ways, we’d reconnect,” Adrian told ABC11.
He even had a cute story to go with how he asked her out (finally!). “We would draw with our finger on each other’s backs and guess what the other person was writing,” the groom told ABC11. “I wrote ‘Will you be my girlfriend’ and she guessed it, but didn’t answer me. I said ‘Well Brooke, are you going to say anything?’ and she said ‘Well you didn’t write a question mark.'”
And eventually, he proposed. “He actually had my whole family and his whole family hide,” Brooke recalled of their engagement to WCHS. “So when it happened they all came out screaming. It was just the best proposal ever.”
On Sept. 19, the pair married in the very church where they first walked down as flower girl and ring bearer. “Before our wedding day I had a sign made that said ‘Will you marry me’ but I cut the question mark out,” Adrian told ABC. “I asked her to marry me, and I said, ‘Here’s your question mark.'”
Among their guests was the bride from the wedding where they first met. “We forgot that we were in the wedding together and she brought the photos to us,” Brooke recalled. “She just thought that was the neatest thing. She was really excited.”
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